|Just a few of the Goof Troop early "miss-fires"|
Being the good soldier I was, and being that I was being paid to do it, I cranked out a bunch of situations with the character designs that had been drawn up to that point. I don't know how many of you reading this have ever wondered exactly what Goofy was. I mean was he a human, a large rodent, a dog? Well if you picked door number three, you are correct! Sorry, no trip to Disneyland for the winners this time though. What you do win is the opportunity to hear how "Goof Troop" became the series it is know as today. When embarking on a series involving a famous character from Walt Disney's original stable of stars can be daunting. One has only to view some of Jack Kinney's incredible Goofy shorts or marvel at Art Babbit's or Woolie Reitherman's animation to appreciate the rich pantomime and hilarious antics that the "Goof" has brought to audiences around the world for many years. I hoped that whatever we were going to create at Walt Disney Television Animation did justice to that rich heritage.
|In search of a series...|
|I don't blame Goofy for being upset|
|With Goofy as Fire Captain, things were bound to heat up|
What made it special was the crossover from live action into this zany world. And speaking of zany, if Goofy is in a goofy world, is he still really Goofy? Not to mention we were probably not going to get the internationaly licensed animation cast of the movie version of Toontown like Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, etc... He listened to me politely, ... then ignored everything I had just said and told me to start doing Toontown setups with Goofy and leave the visionary part to him. It was definitely a one-way street as far as any creative input was concerned on this project and we were headed for a bump in the road.
At this point I really have to add that while Goofy was definitely not exactly this young exec's "cup of tea", he would eventually distinguish himself by developing what would become a highly successful and wildly popular series down the road in more of an animation action genre. As he gained experience over the years he has proved himself a hard working exec who has helped shepard a couple of very solid and popular shows. Some series concepts just gravitate towards more real world action themes while others are much more at home with employing a looser "toony" feel for their world. Goofy was definitely in the "toony" realm and it just wasn't jelling in his otherwise capable hands.
|Goofy doing some soggy but sharp shooting at his boss|
As I walked down the hall I could almost hear a distant memory from schooldays, "Michael Peraza, please report to the Principle's office..." I went over to his room, we closed the doors. Gary and I had a great relationship and he was very interested in my honest opinion of the Goofy show. As always, I was very straight with him. I told him I didn't think we had any show to present. He didn't seem surprised at my statement and so I went into length about all the different scenarios that had been started and stopped ending with the latest Toontown suggestion. When I again described my reasons why I didn't think it would work, he agreed completely. Thank goodness! Just as no two artists are completely alike, neither are the executives. He then leaned over and asked me the question, one that I had already mulled over in my mind, "OK, what would YOU do?" I have to admit, I had been secretly hoping for such a chance. I'm such a bbbaaaaddd boy sometimes. There was also good news on the horizon. I would soon be aided in my quest by an animation master I had not met before but would soon welcome as a good friend... Robert Taylor.